The BBC reports:

A spoof video of the song (Is This The Way To) Amarillo, performed by British soldiers in Iraq, has crashed Ministry of Defence computers.

Troops in the Royal Dragoon Guards shot a home video at their Al Faw base of their version of the video sung by Tony Christie and mimed by Peter Kay.

They e-mailed it to Army friends in London, but so many tried to download it that the MoD server could not cope.

The MoD said the spoof was “brilliant” and the crash did not cause problems.

A spokesman said: “The soldiers maintaining their morale on operations is always important.

“The fact that it proved so popular in the office and caused the system to crash is unfortunate, but this did not affect operations and the system is up and running again.”

Soldier mimic

According to the Sun newspaper, each download took up 52MB, causing the system to collapse.

The role of Peter Kay in the troops’ video - called Is This The Way To Armadillo - was taken on by Staff Sgt Roger Parr, from Runcorn, Cheshire.

In the spoof, which was e-mailed out last Friday, he marches through the Iraqi camp mimicking the comedian and summoning up fellow squaddies along the way.

At the end of the video three portable toilets come into shot with the doors on two swinging open to reveal naked squaddies.

The Sun said the MoD had alerted units to the e-mail and ordered them to delete it from their systems.

The Dragoon Guards were on a six-month peacekeeping tour when the video was shot with a handheld video camera, and are now back at their base in Munster, Germany.

‘Bit of a laugh’

Sgt Parr, speaking from Munster, said: “We did the video towards the end of our six-month tour in Iraq.

“It had been a lot of hard work and we just wanted to get a bit of a laugh and lift morale.”

He was aware that the MoD computer system had crashed but said: “I didn’t get into trouble.

“I was told it had done no harm and that everyone - the lads and everyone else - had loved it.”

He said Christie had rung to congratulate him.

Christie told the BBC the video “did turn out fantastically”.

“I thought it was fantastic, it’s really funny. It’s a song that’s very uplifting and the lads are out in a dangerous place.”

Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 19:38 GMT 20:38 UK